No matter what kinds or genres of video games you’re into, 2017 was a year filled to the brim with both pleasure and pain. There wasn’t a month when some exciting new game wasn’t being released or some company wasn’t doing something to throw fans around the world into a panic. From start to finish, the year that’s now come to an end provided us with a long list of incredible games to play (and obsess over), but in the end, we could only pick twenty-five of them to fill the slots of our “Best of 2017” rankings. So, after much deliberation, here are EGM‘s Top 25 games of the year, today looking at numbers 15 through 11.
|#15||Publisher: Monolith Productions
Developer: Warner Bros. Int. Ent.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
|Middle-earth: Shadow of War|
|Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor introduced players to an innovative Nemesis system, where enemies who defeated your character grew in strength and stature. They also remembered encounters bringing a sense of continuity to the fore, unusual in games where the bulk of enemies serve as nothing more than roadblocks. The sequel, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, expands on the Nemesis system, allowing for deeper interaction with foes and friends made during your adventures. Also expanded is the map, with a much greater swath of Middle-earth to explore and conquer, helping to set up the events we know from The Lord of the Rings. Players must even seize fortresses, and choose loyal followers to leave in charge as the adventure presses on. Though not as innovative as the original, Shadow of War improves on the formula in every way. It’s perfect for adventure fans who wish to visit Tolkien’s magnificent universe.|
Developer: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan
|Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle|
|Ever since the gaming community heard there would be an odd crossover involving Super Mario and Rabbids, the skepticism level was high over what that game could possibly look like in the end. It wasn’t until Ubisoft’s E3 press conference that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was officially revealed to the world, changing the idea the collaboration would flop into something somewhat promising. Ultimately, director Davide Soliani’s many tears shed over the game paid off, as Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was a surprise hit for Nintendo Switch. The XCOM-style gameplay, which featured Mario characters and Rabbids in Mushroom Kingdom cosplay, translated well for the mobile-console platform, as setting up tactical field battles on the go was the genre we never knew we needed. The customization options, upgradeable weapons and abilities, and quirky cast of characters turned 2017’s possibly biggest flop into a well-received winner.|
Developer: Christian Whitehead, PagodaWest Games, Headcannon
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
|These days, it can be difficult to remember why Sonic the Hedgehog ever became a household name. For every halfway decent game Sonic Team manages to churn out, there’s a seemingly endless supply of bad ideas: the werehog, the interspecies makeout sesh, the character creator that allows you to make Coldsteel the Hedgehog canon. But Sonic Mania shows someone at Sega still understands what made the Blue Blur a worthy competitor to Mario back in the day. Designed by prominent members of the Sonic fan game community, Mania remixes elements from older titles with brand new layouts and ideas. The resulting levels make it feel like you’re playing those classic games again for the very first time. It may not be revolutionary, but when it comes to Sonic, nailing the basics is still a major accomplishment.|
Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
|South Park: The Fractured But Whole|
|South Park: The Stick of Truth was a great game, but many felt its traditional turn-based combat was lacking. Enter The Fractured But Whole. Ubisoft San Francisco’s sequel managed to match the comedy and story from the first game while building on its turn-based combat with a new grid-based system that introduced an extra dimension and helped freshen things up. Add to this timers, giant enemies, time-bending fart powers, and giant, multi-phase enemies and you’ve got battles that will keep you entertained for the entirety of the game’s lengthy story. Speaking of the story, it starts out slow and simple with the search for a lost cat, but quickly turns into an epic tale that sees players taking on crab people, ninjas, strippers, a red wine-powered Randy, an old god, and more. If you’re a fan of the show, do not hesitate to pick this up.|
|#11||Publisher: Warner Bros. Int. Ent.
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
|It was a surprisingly full year for fighting games, but none even sniffed the excellence that was Injustice 2. The new gear system introduced a level of customization never before seen in a fighting game, and the new Multiverse mode offers replayability in spades for fans that might rather steer clear of competitive online play. On top of this, there is a terrific story mode that builds on the first game’s foundation and should please any and all DC comic book fans and where you get to experience a roster of all your favorite heroes and villains from the DC universe. If Brainiac were trying to put together a collection of all the best games across all genres, Injustice 2 would be his pick when it comes to fighting games, hands-down.|
We’re taking a look at the best games of 2017 from now through December 31st. Check back every day for our Top 25 Games of 2017, as well as our personal lists for the games we loved most this year. Check here for everything that’s been posted so far.